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Cilantro Lime Chicken Recipe

  • Author: Kylie Lato
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This quick and easy, Mexican-inspired Cilantro Lime Chicken is bursting with fresh flavors and is the perfect weeknight meal! It requires just a simple 30-minute marinade, then a quick sear and dinner is done!



  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • zest and juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons lime juice)
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro + more for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper


  1. Combine olive oil, lime zest and juice, garlic, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, and a couple large pinches of salt and pepper.
  2. Place chicken into a shallow dish. I recommend using an 8×8 baking dish. Pour marinade over chicken breast and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts, allowing the excess marinade to drip off before adding to the pan. 
  4. Cook chicken breast for about 4-5 minutes per side or until a dark golden-brown crust forms on the outside.
  5. If the chicken is not cooked through all the way, finish cooking it in a 400-degree oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees at its thickest part. 
  6. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and enjoy with my Southwest Salad Recipe!


Any cut of chicken will work for this recipe. I typically have breasts and tenders in the freezer so that’s what we use most often. But chicken thighs (bone-in or boneless) work great for this cilantro lime chicken recipe as well!

Because of the lime zest and juice in this recipe, I recommend marinating the chicken for only 30 minutes. The acid in the lime will actually start to break down and cook the chicken after 30 minutes which can lead to an undesirable texture.

This cilantro lime chicken can be cooked on the grill or in a cast iron pan. If you don’t have cast iron, any pan will work, but cast iron will give it that great crispy, dark golden-brown crust.

Any leftovers you might have will taste great in Sheet Pan Chicken & Black Bean Nachos, Sheet Pan Chicken Quesadillas, BBQ Chicken Quesadillas, or Baked Chicken Taquitos.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove Top + Oven
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: cilantro lime chicken marinade, Mexican lime chicken